input follows. Finally, an analysis of the NIH priority-setting process for addressing cancer among minority and medically underserved communities is presented.
The committee sought input both from ethnic minority researchers in the field of cancer research and from minority and nonminority investigators interested in cancer among minority and medically underserved populations. It sought this input as part of its attempt to understand the experiences of investigators across a broad range of disciplines who either have applied for NIH funding or have been involved in proposal review. These include individuals who either have some familiarity with the NIH portfolio of research on cancer among ethnic minority and medically underserved populations or may have benefited from NIH training programs designed to increase the level of representation of minority investigators in the field of cancer research.
It must be noted that the committee did not seek to identify a representative sample of the populations described above. Rather, the purpose of this survey was to identify some of the range of experiences and perceptions, both positive and negative, that minority investigators and those investigators interested in cancer among minority and medically underserved populations may have had with regard to NIH's priority-setting process and current program of research in this area. The survey results should therefore be interpreted with caution—they are likely not representative of any particular population of researchers, clinicians, or health policy analysts. They do, however, provide some insight into the kinds of perceptions that the extramural scientific community holds with regard to research on minority and medically underserved populations.
The pool of potential survey respondents was selected by obtaining the names and mailing addresses of 839 individuals who hold membership or who are otherwise affiliated with one of several organizations or cancer-related research programs. Specifically, names were obtained from the American Association of Cancer Research (minority research section), the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (members in cancer research-related fields), the Intercultural Cancer Council membership database, the Hispanic Cancer Control Network, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (recent recipients of NIH minority training funds in cancer-related fields), and the Appalachian Leadership Initiative on Cancer (principal investigators). Whenever possible,